I was writing a different blog in my head last evening. Zipping along Hwy 367 from Alton with the Hubs on the back of our bike. Enjoying what had been an amazing day. Even for a work day.
The area we were in is not a particularly safe stretch of road. It's heavily traveled and a lot of time by vehicles that are ignoring basic safety standards. There are also more than a few high speed incidents in that area. So even though we were enjoying the end of a great day, we were also very much on point with being aware of our surroundings. Being on a motorcycle can often make you invisible. Especially to a distracted driver.
That's when it happened.
In the blink of an eye, a nano-second. The grey car on the other side of the median flipped, axles broken, parts flying, laundry flying, glass everywhere, dust clouds rising from the impact.
Hubs and I are both rescue trained. Our jobs require it. It is something neither of us ever wants to use. As he pulled the bike to the side of the road we both took off running across all the lanes of traffic. My job was to call 911, whoever was in that vehicle was going to need a lot of help. I watched cars start pulling off and people start running. No one knowing if the vehicle would burst into flames or simply lay there upside down.
Not knowing what they would find when they arrived.
I stayed on the phone with emergency services. They lifted the car and got the young woman out. A child really.
I prayed. I sent out a request for prayers.
I don't know the end result. I am still praying. I am fearful for her.
Hubs tried to get them to hear his words. The panic stricken good Samaritans. He pleaded with them to simply extract her and lay her on the ground. She was conscious, she was breathing, she was talking.
Please don't move her far, don't bend her. You don't know what kind of damage she's sustained. Keep her flat and still. The words of too many training's echoing in both of our heads. Me relaying the scene before me to the 911 operator, her voice telling me to have them stop moving her around. No one hearing the warnings.
Hubs was standing near, he watched the man intent on rescuing her scoop her up like a small child that's skinned her knee. He saw the blood, he saw the moment her head slid back as she became unconscious. Continuing to plead with them to lay her still, put her gently into a rescue position.
As another woman rushed over and put her head in her lap and held her in a position that was potentially blocking her airways if not damaging internal organs or putting pressure on any fractures in her neck, head or spine. I cried.
I cried and I prayed. I'd told EMS, please hurry. They are trying to help, but they could seriously be hurting her worse. I prayed that she wouldn't throw up, knowing the angle that they were holding her would suffocate her.
And I prayed for wisdom for those wonderful people that only wanted to help.
I've never seen a car that destroyed in an instant. She wasn't wearing her seat-belt. She was looking down at the phone in her hand. She was merging into traffic off an elevated entry ramp and went over the side.
I needed a prayer army for her. I needed to know the people that I trusted the most to lift that sweet young woman up could help. I posted a simple plea on Facebook. I was trying to be calm. Watching the chaos and suffering, I needed to find peace. I simply typed Pray!!! I knew those that would, their responses assured me that they did.
Were they praying for that sweet little girl ironically lying waiting for medical on the very median that she'd flown over in her car? No, how could they, they didn't know. But all of us need prayer.
Once EMS had arrive, officers had relieved Hubs in his bright white shirt in the fading sunlight from directing traffic around the scene, we got back on our bike and left.
The joy of the day had been sucked away. Our regular caution when riding was now amplified by the adrenaline rush of the past 30 minutes. The sun sinking rapidly into the horizon and us still 30 minutes from home. Riding at dusk gets more hazardous. People pay less attention as the sky transitions, the sun momentarily blinding you at random intervals.
We were heading home, chilled externally by the cool day - so rare for July in the Mid-West, and internally by knowing all that had potentially gone wrong. Both of us knowing we had done all that we could and also knowing it wasn't enough to protect her from further harm. But St. Louis being what it is, and us being where we were, it was ALL we could do.
During a moment when I was praying silently on the back of the bike, asking God to help us accept what we'd just been a part of. To be at peace with whatever would happen from there. To know that we had done all we could. Just then... on that wide stretch of highway, by then we were on the loop around this big, small city, which was oddly empty a small black Toyota pulled up alongside of us.
In the midst of a swirl of chaos and emotion, I heard a small voice say look to your left.
There in that car were two people that I adore! They work for my Y. He's a Pastor at a church in Ferguson or Florissant (I believe), when he isn't wowing everyone with his skills in Kickboxing. And she's a personal trainer by trade, a life changer by nature. Gentle and kind, they both have a life mission of doing good. And out of the blue, we are traveling the highway together side by side.
I felt calm.
In her smiling face and his laughing eyes (he's one of the few people I know who's eyes genuinely smile and sparkle when he smiles) I felt calm. As we waved and greeted each other the moment of fear, grief, anxiety and angst was gone.
I believe God speaks when we are quiet and listen. I know he does. A long time ago I turned everything over to him. I was too overwhelmed and collapsing on myself from trying to go against his will. When I gave in, when I softly said "It's yours".
My world opened.
He brought me Hubs.
He has guided me and takes care. You just have to be silent and listen with your heart. Last night, I immediately felt calm.
Today I woke up praying for that young woman.
I also feel there is a lesson to be learned. As I also believe very strongly that we are put where we are for a definite reason. Nothing is an accident.
I am going through a few struggles right now. There is a stormy sea. I am trying to navigate and walk a path that is fraught with challenges.
I am making changes in my and my surroundings. I am writing my story. I am growing.
The story isn't about the ending. It's about the pages in between.
Each of us are on a journey. No one person is more important than the other. No one person needs to consume all the resources and energy from the room. My needs, your needs, everyone's needs are great at different moments and less at others. And somewhere in the messy middle, if you are willing, there is a happy spot.
Right now, I'm struggling with things in my bubble that are draining. There are things going on that are zapping the energy stream. In the same way a phone charger just plugged in and not charging anything puts a strain on the greater flow of electricity.
I have a task I need to complete today that is draining my energy. Too much time, attention and energy are being directed into something I cannot change, impact or redirect. I can't find the phone to plug into that energy stream.
So for a few more moments today while Hubs is off working at one of his branches, and I am getting ready to drive into the city to work at mine, I'm going to savor the quiet. I'm going to be silent and listen. Sip my coffee and reflect on the brilliantly swirling chaos that is my beautiful life.
I need to untangle a few pieces. I need to sort through the path forward. And while I'm at it, continue to pray.
What about you? Are you writing your story? Or are driving distracted down the highway of life?